Liz Johnson (swimmer)

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Elizabeth Johnson
Personal information
Nickname(s) Lizard, Showbiz, Johno
Nationality  United Kingdom
Born (1985-12-03) 3 December 1985 (age 29)
Newport, South Wales
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Country Great Britain
Sport Paralympic swimming
Club Team Bath
Coached by Mark Skimming

Elizabeth "Liz" Johnson (born 3 December 1985) is a British swimmer who has won gold medals in the Paralympic Games and IPC world championships. She has cerebral palsy, placing her in the S6 classification.

Personal life[edit]

Johnson was born in Newport on 3 December 1985.[1][2] She has cerebral palsy and, at the age of three, was encouraged by her mother to join a group for disabled swimmers to strengthen and relax her muscles. She came to love the sport, competing as an S6 swimmer,[1][3][2] and was selected to swim for Team GB at the age of 14.[4] Johnson attended Swansea University and completed a degree in business management and finance. She currently lives in Bath, Somerset and trains with the University of Bath training group, Team Bath.[3][2]

While Johnson was on the plane to the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, her mother died after a long battle with cervical cancer. She decided to continue with the Games when she was told that the funeral could be held when she returned home.[4][5]

Johnson spends one day a week studying accountancy and is considering a career in that field when she retires from competitive swimming.[3][2]

Swimming career[edit]

At the 2006 IPC World Championships in Durban, Johnson won an individual gold medal in the 100 m breaststroke and two relay golds. She repeated her breaststroke success at the 2009 event, breaking the world record in the process, and also picked up two individual medley bronze medals.[2] She won gold in the 100 m breaststroke at the 2008 Summer Paralympics eleven days after the death of her mother, dedicating the victory to her memory.[4][5]

Johnson's successes were recognised when, in April 2011, she was given the honour of laying the final tile in the competition pool at the London Aquatics Centre.[3][6] She was also selected as the Paralympic Oath taker for the 2012 Games.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Elizabeth Johnson". Channel 4. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Liz Johnson" (PDF). Threshold Sports. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Meet the Team - Elizabeth Johnson". British Swimming & The ASA. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Liz Johnson". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b De Lacey, Martha (28 August 2012). "'I won my gold medal for mum': The Team GB Paralympic hope who swam to victory in Beijing just 11 days after her mother's death". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Final tile laid in London 2012 pool". Department for Culture, Media and Sport. April 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Frampton, Ben (31 August 2012). "Swim coach speaks of pride as Newport star takes Paralympic oath". South Wales Argus. Newsquest Media (Southern) Ltd. Retrieved 2 September 2012.